SAT Tips: A Plurality of Pronouns


In our continuing series of SAT Tips, today we’ll show you another way the SAT Writing test applies pronoun rules to questions. (You might want to first check out this older post about pronouns before reading further.)  Also remember that the goal of doing the QOTD is to learn at least one thing about the SAT. If you’re not learning from each problem then you’re not getting the most out of your practice. Today’s post teaches us about a couple of the more rare pronouns.

Pronoun rules College Board Loves
We know that typically 4 – 7 questions on the SAT Writing sections test pronoun rules, which means that if you know your pronoun rules well, they could be worth 30 – 70 points depending on the test.  The College Board typically tests pronoun agreement or ambiguity with an occasional smattering of case. If you master each of these things you’re sure to score some points!


Pronoun agreement
Since the QOTD inspired this post we’ll focus on pronoun agreement. Pronoun agreement means that a pronoun must agree with the noun it refers to in number, so a plural noun must refer to a plural pronoun and a singular noun to a singular pronoun. In this example sentence: “After the team from the Virgin Islands won the tournament, they received a gubernatorial award.” you should know that the pronoun they is incorrect because team is singular and thus the pronoun they is not correct.


There are a couple of weird/interesting pronouns that appear on the SAT that you must be on the lookout for:

1. That/Those

2. One/You

3. It/Its



That is a singular pronoun that typically refers to objects and those is the plural form of that. I like that chair against the wall because it is bigger than those in the middle of the room.


One and you are both pronouns that can be used to refer universally to a group. As a rule if you start referring to a group by using one, stick with it. The same applies if you start by using you. If one goes to the movie more than twice a week one might be accused of being a movie-holic. 


It and its are both singular pronouns. It is a singular pronoun that is used only when referring to things without gender. Its is a singular possessive pronoun meaning “belong to it.” It is my favorite movie because its explosions are the biggest and loudest. 


This information should help you answer the question above and help you get ahead of the curve (yeah we love Bell Curves!) on SAT Writing questions involving pronouns! Good luck and let us know if you need a class, tutor, or advice.

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